On Stands Now
June 2024

Questa  •  Red River  •  Cerro  •  Costilla  •  Amalia  •  Lama  •  San Cristobal

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Photo by E. Wilde Santa and Mrs. Claus ride in on their motorcycle trike to watch over the semi truck that carried the official annual christmas tree that is used at the White House in Washington D.C. The tree was harvested in Red River from Carson National Forest in 2019

Santa Claus is Coming to Questa!

Courtesy Photo Santa and Mrs. Claus and the Grinch hand out educational, age-appropriate toys to kids at their Annual Christmas Event

The Santas Helpers del Norte group consists of approximately 12 families from northern New Mexico who have been joining together to bring Christmas joy to Questa-area kids for the past 25 years. They will be hosting their annual event once again on Saturday, December 16 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the residences of Ralph and Lisa Rael and Jacqui and Isaiah Ortega, at 179/179-A North Kiowa Road in Questa, New Mexico. The event is free and open to the public.

Defino “Joey” Ortega, the chairman of the group, has been involved since the early 1990s. “We work together with one mission in mind, and that is to provide Christmas for the kids of northern Taos County.” He points out that while many of the members of the group ride motorcycles, including Santa and Mrs. Claus, when they make their grand arrival on their sleigh (consisting of a trike motorcycle), they are not a motorcycle club.

While the group’s busiest time is the Christmas holiday, they work to fundraise all year long to ensure they can afford to provide hundreds of gifts for children during their event. The group goes on to purchase age-appropriate educational toys for the children with the funds raised through the year.
“We have made several modifications through the years to ensure we’re in the safest location possible; we’ve held the event on Cabresto Road and we also tried to do the event in town. Our current location on North Kiowa has worked out well for us.”

While the project is a labor of love, the organizers are as unassuming as they come. Delfino says they don’t like to do this project for praise, rather, they do it because of the difference they make for local children. “The members of our group are all volunteers and the one thing that keeps all of us going is seeing the joy on kids’ faces when they visit Santa, Mrs. Claus, and his helpers from the North Pole. That is all the payment and recognition we need,” he says.

The group does a lot of work setting up the North Pole, preparing for their big event day. “It really is a big effort for our whole group. People can help most by supporting our fundraisers and donating to our cause,” he continues.

When discussing the importance of this event, he says, “Life is hard enough with the challenges we all face every day. Being able to give back in this way, it really means something to all of us, and we will continue to bring Christmas to local kids for as long as we are able.”

Santa Claus has a special message to all the little boys and girls:
Be good and be kind to each other, Santa Claus is making the list and checking it twice, he’s going to find out if you’re naughty or nice! Santa Claus is coming to Questa!

Note about donations: While the group is grateful many community members get in the holiday spirit, all toys purchased through this effort are new and based on age and educational value. Please do not drop off used toys for this event.